Swedish Ombudsman rules that the ‘man-free’ Statement Festival violated discrimination laws
Discrimination / February 2019

EQUALITY Sweden’s Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) has ruled that describing an event as ‘man-free’ is discriminatory, dealing a blow to the ‘Statement Festival which was promoted as a music festival aimed at women in August earlier this year. Statement Festival, which took place in Gothenburg this summer, was organised following multiple reports of sexual assaults at other Swedish festivals including the now discontinued Bravalla. Comedian Knyckare who instigated the festival said at its launch “It felt important when so many people wanted it” and “All men are not rapists, but almost all rapes are carried out by men. We want to create a free space, a cool festival where women can be without feeling worried. A festival is not the solution, but a reaction to the problem. The goal with the festival is that there shouldn’t need to be separatist events.  After questions were first raised about the festival’s definition as ‘man-free’, organizers confirmed they would also welcome trans men and non-binary people. The ruling, issued on Monday, confirmed that describing the festival as “man-free” amounted to “an infringement of discrimination law”. Although the ruling noted that festival organizers did not enforce the “man-free” rule and that “no differentiation based on…

Met’s Form 696 back in the spotlight after new survey results
Discrimination , Live Events / November 2017

EQUALITY Live events sector   A new survey has revealed that almost half the British general public think that the controversial risk-assessment document Form 696 is discriminatory against those forced to complete it. the results of the survey are part of Ticketmaster’s State of Play: Grime report and shows that 48% of those polled – a “nationally representative” sample of the British population – think the form is discriminatory because it only applies to certain events. Culture minister Matt Hancock and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, are among those to have called for a review of form 696, which is used by London’s Metropolitan police to determine the potential level of risk involved in events where a DJ or MC is using a backing track. The study was produced by Ticketmaster’s LiveAnalytics division in partnership with Disrupt and the University of Westminster’s black music research unit. Form 696  currently asks for the names, stage names, addresses and phone numbers of all promoters and artists at events where pre-recorded backing tracks are used. An earlier version of the document also asked about the specific genre of music being performed and likely ethnic make-up of the audience. Those questions were dropped in 2009 after allegations they were racial…

Stars cancel concerts over LGBT laws

DISCRIMINATION Live events sector     Bryan Adams has cancelled a concert in Mississippi in protest of the state’s ‘Religious Liberty’ bill. The 56-year-old singer was due to perform at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi on 14 April. However, in a statement posted on his social media pages, Bryan explained that he made the decision to pull the gig because he disagrees so strongly with the 1523 bill – which allows business, religiously-affiliated organisations and individuals the opportunity to deny service to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people, single mothers or anyone who offends their “sincerely held religious belief”. Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel a concert in North Carolina over an anti-LGBT law has been called a “bully tactic” by a US congressman. On 8th April, Springsteen cancelled a concert in Greensboro because of a controversial law that critics say legalises discrimination against LGBT people. Under the law, all public institutions must post signs designating that bathrooms and locker rooms are to be used only based on the biological sex reflected on their birth certificate. Springsteen issued a statement explaining that he and the E-Street Band did not want to play the gig because they “want to show solidarity for…